Dealing with Anxiety- Relaxation Meditation
At any point during the year, but especially so during holidays for many people, anxiety is a serious situation that can be paralyzing or cause headaches, body aches and breathing problems. The quickest and simplest way to deal with anxiety, (and this is going to sound silly), is to focus on breathing fully and properly.
Think it seems obvious? Well, it is. The problem is that many of us don’t realize we’re actually holding our breath during stressful or anxiety-filled moments. We are literally holding our breath in and not allowing oxygen to reach our brain, thereby increasing the very anxiety we wish we could alleviate.
Relaxation Meditation does not mean you need to sit in a dark, secluded room decked out with Tibetan pillows and such. With just a bit of focus and some practice, you can implement the basics of Relaxation Meditation anywhere, anytime and its positive effects need just a minute or so to take root.
When practicing Relaxation Meditation, you first start by sending loving and kind thoughts to yourself. Begin by remembering a time when you were happy. When the feeling of happiness arises, it is a warm glowing feeling in the center of your chest.
Now, when this feeling arises, make a very sincere wish for your own happiness. “May I be happy”… “May I be filled with joy”… “May I be peaceful and calm”…
Make any wholesome sincere wish that has meaning for you, feeling the wish in your heart. The key word here is “sincere.” If your wish isn’t a sincere wish then it will turn into a mantra- that is, it may become a statement repeated by rote, with no real meaning. Then you would be on the surface repeating the statement while thinking about other things.
So it is very important that the wish you make for yourself (and later for your spiritual friend) has real meaning for you and uses your whole undivided attention. Don’t continually repeat the wish for happiness: “May I be happy, may I be happy, may I be happy.” Make the wish for your own happiness when the feeling of Loving Kindness begins to fade a little.
After every wish for your own happiness, please notice that there is some slight tension or tightness in your head, in your mind. Let it go. You do this by relaxing mind completely. Feel mind open up and become calm, but do this only one time. If the tightness doesn’t go away, never mind; you will be able to let it go while on the meditation object (your home base). Don’t continually try to keep relaxing the mind, without coming back to the home base. Always softly redirect your tranquil attention back to the feeling of happiness.
Most importantly, keep deep breathing.